Remembering a Rabbitoh – Harold Norman Horder

Watch on Rabbitohs TV

Our feature on Rabbitohs player #61 Harold Horder was first aired on Rabbitohs Radio Podcast on the 27th May 2020 & was one of the first Remembering a Rabbitohs we created.

The headline act of that episode was our Blake Solly interview & the Harold Horder feature isn’t heard until the 1hr 26min mark. This is why we now release most of our featured content as stand alone, so it can be seen on its own instead of just in our show.

Over the last 3 seasons we have created a lot of content which has now also been uploaded to our Rabbitohs TV channel including now this one.

Harold Horder

Harold Horder made his debut for Souths 109 years ago in 1912, scored a try, kicked a goal & the legend was born.

In a 1938 article titled Harold Horder Greatest Of Them All written by W A (Billy) Cann in the Rugby League News he said –

“Horder was responsible for many thousands attending the Souths and North Sydney matches; he was in a sense a gold mine to the two clubs during his association with them.”

“Horder did for football what the famous Victor Trumper did for cricket – lifted it right out of the orthodox.”

“Of all the brilliant tries scored by the South Sydney champion, the one that stands out most was the try scored on the Show Ground against the team he first met when he created such a sensation on his introduction to First Grade – Glebe.”

“Horder gathered the ball inside his own 25, at the Randwick end, and he raced right through the opposition to score a magnificent try under the bar.”

“The try has never been surpassed by anyone, Horder’s side-stepping, swerving and cutting-in between defenders was the Best Ever.”

“More than half the Glebe team had a “fly” at the speed merchant, and he tricked each and every man who endeavored to stop his advance, and more than half a dozen players were strewn about the field after their diving tackles at his legs and feet.”

“On the following Saturday a diagram appeared in the sporting paper, “The Arrow,” giving an outline of the extraordinary manner in which Horder had scored the try.”

“About eight defenders were shown about the field in various attitudes, after having hurled themselves at the winger.”

“Harold Horder was in a class by himself…the methods of the famous lad from South Sydney were superior to those of any player seen previous to his time or since his retirement from the game.”

DangerDave from the Rabbitoh Warren said-

“I loved the piece on Harold Horder, my favourite all time winger. However, you missed one incredible stat of his…”

“In game 1 of the 1915 series he scored 5 tries and kicked 8 goals for the Blues in their 53-9 demolition of the Maroons. That was on the Saturday, and Game 2 was played 2 days later on the Monday. In that game he scored another 5 tries and kicked 7 goals in the 39-6 win. So 10 tries and 15 goals for NSW in the space of 3 days! Legend.”

Horder actually scored 62 tries from 31 games for the Blues in his career, that’s a strike rate of exactly 200% or an average of 2 tries in every game. Plus 38 goals.

Remembering A Rabbitoh – Harry Wells…A Rugby League Legend

On the show this week we featured Harry Wells, a man that only played six games for the Rabbitohs but one of those was the 1951 grand final win over Manly. Harry then moved on to produce a brilliant career in rugby league.

Below is our Rabbitohs TV segment & a selection of content from various websites about the great man.

Harry Wells

Son and grandson of boxers “Dealer” Wills. A Melbourne newspaper misspelt his grandfathers name as boxer “Dealer” Wells, and it remained that way in the papers.

Harry says, “I had a talent scout take me to South Sydney at 18 – in 1951 – he knew my father as ‘Dealer’ Wells, so he introduced me to the club with that name, but I put my name down as Harry Wills for the trials. They sent me off to the grandstand to wait until my name was called and after about two or three games I was asked when I was playing. My recruiter went and asked ‘when does young Harry Wells play?’ And they looked up the names and said there’s no Harry Wells. He looked at the book and said you’ve got his name wrong its Harry Wells not Harry Wills – and from then on that was how it was.”

Harry had been selected for New South Wales on the bench after a few good performances mid year while Graves and Woolfe were on representative duties, but returned to reserve grade upon their return. On the eve of the Grand Final Harry was called back into the 1951 Grand Final team after Cliff Smailles dislocated his elbow late in the season. Playing in his only Grand Final winning team.

Harry went to represent Australia after leaving Souths and was named in the 100 ARL Rugby League players of the century. SSR Almanac

Harry Wells (real name Wills) came from a long line of boxers (both his father and grandfather fought under the name ‘Dealer’ Wills) and brought many of the ring’s attributes to his league career.

A robust, weaving centre, Wells came from Wollongong to play for Souths in 1951, winning the premiership in his first season in Sydney, before returning home. In 1952 he represented NSW and toured with the Kangaroos, where he made the first of 22 Test appearances. Wells played against NZ (1953 and 1959), Great Britain (1954 and 1958), France (1955 and 1960), in three World Cup campaigns (1954, 1957 and 1960) and a second Kangaroo tour (1959-60).

In the latter part of his career, he formed a great partnership with a young Reg Gasnier, and the pair played in 12 Test matches together. In 1956 Wells came to Wests as part of the club’s premiership build-up but the Magpies lost the grand final to St George, 20-9. Wells played out the remainder of his career in the country and made one last appearance against Great Britain while playing for Monaro in 1966.
– ALAN WHITICKER Rugby League Project

Australian rugby league has produced few centres to match Harry Wells, and few greater centre pairings than the partnership of Wells and Reg Gasnier. Wells came from Wollongong in 1951 to try his luck with Souths, and immediately struck gold when he was in the grand-final team that destroyed Manly 42–14.

But it was a brief sojourn and he then headed back down the coast.

He was still based in the Illawarra when he won selection in the 1952–53 Kangaroos, making the first of his 21 Test appearances at Headingley, in the opening Test of the series.

In the third Test against Great Britain in 1954, Wells was a dominating figure. He scored the try that sent the Australians on their way to the Ashes.

Renowned for his ability to break the line, Wells was an immensely popular footballer.

He came back to Sydney in 1956 to join Wests at the beginning of the ”Magpies millionaires” phase, and stayed six seasons with the Magpies, appearing in 85 games and scoring 33 tries.

He played in three World Cups and made a second Kangaroo tour in 1959–60.

His career in big-time football ended in 1961, but he headed on and on in bush football, finally finishing up in Port Macquarie in 1972, at age 40. National Rugby League Hall of Fame

Remembering A Rabbitoh – Paul Mellor

Paul Mellor #801

Paul Mellor

On Saturday the 21st of August we featured Rabbitoh #801 Paul Stephen Mellor on our Remembering A Rabbitoh segment on Rabbitohs Radio podcast. Paul was born on the 21st of August 1974 so it was actually his 47th birthday when we shared his story for our listeners & Rabbitohs TV viewers.

Mellor is the youngest Souths player in history to make his first grade debut, coming off the bench aged 16 years, 10 months and 9 days in a 34-18 win over Gold Coast at the Sydney Football Stadium in 1991.

Mellor scored his first try for Souths playing in the centres alongside the Fijian flyer Manoa Thompson #779 in a 26-18 loss to the Broncos at Lang Park. Rabbitohs Radio co host Darren Brown #774 started at lock that day for the mighty Rabbitohs.

Since retirement, Paul has taken up refereeing, and was often used as a video referee. Happy birthday mate we hope you like our segment.

By Steve Mavin